We work with organizations, institutions and leaders across Canada around three goals:

Understand what works and why

Build capacity and connection

Influence policy and practice


Understand what works and why 

Over an initial five years, WellAhead is experimenting with a range of approaches that can help better integrate social and emotional wellbeing into K-12 education. To learn more about our areas of experimentation, click on any of the icons below.

WellAhead is exploring how measuring student wellbeing can enable schools to better address it. We are working with two initiatives that use measurement as a lever for change:

  • People for Education’s Measuring What Matters initiative is developing a measurement framework that enables educators to more purposefully teach and assess competencies related to social and emotional wellbeing and positive mental health.
  • University of British Columbia’s Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) has developed the Middle Development Instrument, which allows students in grades 4 and 7 to self-report on their own wellbeing. This population-level information is used by schools and communities to make better decisions about how to support wellbeing.

WellAhead is helping educators to incorporate simple, low-resource practices that are easily embedded into the day-to-day routine of schools. Our experiments include:

  • British Columbia Pilot Districts: We worked directly with six school districts in BC to test and scale practices such as circle check-ins and being in nature.
  • School Mental Health ASSIST is working with teachers and their professional bodies to co-create a toolkit of evidence-based everyday practices for elementary schools to use.

WellAhead is supporting school communities to collaboratively develop their own objectives and plans, and exploring whether approach enables them to address student wellbeing in a more sustainable fashion.

  • British Columbia Pilot Districts: We supported six school districts through a process modeled on social innovation labs to co-design, prototype and scale everyday practices to promote wellbeing.

WellAhead is interested in understanding how key human resources and a focus on building capacity can help school districts to address student wellbeing more comprehensively and long-term.

  • School Mental Health ASSIST is working with all 72 Ontario school boards to foster organizational conditions and build capacity before introducing evidence-based programming.

WellAhead is exploring how measuring student wellbeing can enable schools to better address it. We are working with two initiatives that use measurement as a lever for change:

  • People for Education’s Measuring What Matters initiative is developing a measurement framework that enables educators to more purposefully teach and assess competencies related to social and emotional wellbeing and positive mental health.
  • University of British Columbia’s Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) has developed the Middle Development Instrument, which allows students in grades 4 and 7 to self-report on their own wellbeing. This population-level information is used by schools and communities to make better decisions about how to support wellbeing.

WellAhead is helping educators to incorporate simple, low-resource practices that are easily embedded into the day-to-day routine of schools. Our experiments include:

  • British Columbia Pilot Districts: We worked directly with six school districts in BC to test and scale practices such as circle check-ins and being in nature.
  • School Mental Health ASSIST is working with teachers and their professional bodies to co-create a toolkit of evidence-based everyday practices for elementary schools to use.

WellAhead is supporting school communities to collaboratively develop their own objectives and plans, and exploring whether approach enables them to address student wellbeing in a more sustainable fashion.

  • British Columbia Pilot Districts: We supported six school districts through a process modeled on social innovation labs to co-design, prototype and scale everyday practices to promote wellbeing.

WellAhead is interested in understanding how key human resources and a focus on building capacity can help school districts to address student wellbeing more comprehensively and long-term.

  • School Mental Health ASSIST is working with all 72 Ontario school boards to foster organizational conditions and build capacity before introducing evidence-based programming.

Build capacity and connections 

WellAhead looks to advance existing efforts by building capacity and connection at the school, district, provincial and ecosystem levels. 

Building capacity

We recognize the combined passion and action amongst those currently supporting student wellbeing, and seek to enhance and amplify their efforts. Examples of this include:

  • Providing funding support to multi-stakeholder groups and networks to increase their impact
  • Sharing our expertise on social innovation, scaling and systems change with organizations and institutions
  • Providing coaching support to our BC pilot districts

Facilitating connections

With so many people and organizations across Canada doing great work, we need to better learn from one another’s experiences. WellAhead supports connections across jurisdictions and stakeholder groups through efforts such as:

  • Convening leaders and stakeholders provincially and nationally to understand the current system and explore opportunities to advance wellbeing in K-12 education
  • Making linkages between actors when there is potential for synergy
  • Supporting professional learning opportunities and exchanges